a little bit of beeswax
For 12 years now, I’ve been dropping into the Parkdale Apiarists’ supplies for beeswax. It’s a lovely place, full of mysterious pieces and shiny equipment I would just love to own and use. There’s something especially captivating about a store that specialises in just one fascinating thing. That has shelves laden with bespoke tools and tokens that only a person with the right wisdom and skill is able to identify and use. Mmmm …. I can wile away hours in such stores. Inpsecting, wondering, impressed to the enth degree. Maybe one day I will be in the market for some lovely wooden hives, smokers and honey spinners.
Right now – it’s just the beautiful, creamy yellow, richly scented wax I come for. Blocks and sheets for candle making. Oh how we do love making beeswax candles. Abby’s been rolling them from the exquisitely formed sheets below since she was a toddler. We fill old electric jugs with them and pop them on shelves and in corners, waiting to be used in the glasses and candlesticks around our home. And whilst they burn quite quickly, there’s something especially lovely about the glow and scent of melting beeswax.
[ for the curious, we use an electric deep fryer to melt our wax, you're able to control the temperature really well, it's very safe, there's no chance of the beeswax scorching,
& it's a very easy cleanup ]
In the last few years, we’ve been filling all manner of interesting glasses and bottles, cups and bowls with wax. My favourite are a set of chubby silver plated mugs I found at the oppie. I give them a rub up with silver polish first, then fill them wax and wicks and set them along the windowsill. They gleam with such warmth and magic.
Last week, the making of candles was declared the perfect treat for little girlies who had finished all their homework earlier in the week. We rolled long straight candles, filled glasses which, as they cooled, looked more like delicious creme caramels than candles …
… dipped our favourite autumn leaves in to the wax, so as to preserve their lovely colours …
… and made some very special candles in a terrific cake mould Julian brought me home from America several years back. I had to think a bit about how to attach the wick given the wick needed to come out of the top of the candle (where there was no such opening) rather than the bottom. We decided to use blue tack. We cut the wicks to size, then coiled up the bottom inch or so and wrapped it tightly in a thick ball of blue tack. We then rolled this ball in a bit of macadamia oil (which we also used for oiling the cake pan), then set it in the middle of the “top” of the shape, attaching the rest of the wick to a wooden skewer in the usual way.
It worked a treat! Once the candle had hardened (we left them over night), we turned them out of the mould, trimmed the excess wick off flat with the bottom, then carefully dug the little ball of blue tack with its wick out of the top of the candle. The blue tack was a little sticky, but it eventually came off with tweezers. I thought about adding more melted wax to the top, to fill the resultant hole, but was a bit nervous that it might melt the shape, or run down the sides. So instead, with the candle lit, I carefully scooped around the hole to neaten it.
Just lovely! Our lady bugs, dragonflies, bees and butterflies have made such cosy candles on these dark and cold winter nights.
And oh how clever the little girlies feel! They’re already working on their Christmas present giving lists … and could I suggest that all the recipients stock up on matches!